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A 37-year-old Florida man is missing after being swallowed by a sinkhole that appeared under his bedroom around 11 p.m. Thursday, an official said.

Jeffrey Bush has not been heard from since the hole appeared in his bedroom in Seffner, Fla., near Tampa. Bush is feared to have been killed.

Sinkhole in Florida

Authorities have said the sinkhole, believed to be up to 30 feet deep, was “seriously unstable.” A 100-foot safety zone was set up around it Friday.

Nearby homes were evacuated for fear of a sudden collapse.


Jessica Damico, public relations officer for Hillsborough County Fire Department, said Saturday that experts resumed working at the site at 7 a.m. ET.

“Right now they are still looking at soil samples and drilling and looking for stability, so they can find the edge of the sinkhole,” she said from the scene.

She said the sinkhole seemed to be about 15 feet deep, or perhaps even more. However she added the actual depth of unstable ground was unclear.

Damico said there was still no sign of Jeffrey Bush.

“If you look in, it’s about 15 feet and then there’s only sand,” she said, noting that engineers are only using camera equipment to examine the hole.

The area is still too unstable for people to go onto.

Bill Bracken, the owner of an engineering company called to assess the hole, said he "cannot tell you why it [the house] has not collapsed yet."

He said the earth below is a "very large, very fluid mass."

"This is not your typical sinkhole," Hillsborough County administrator Mike Merrill added. "This is a chasm. For that reason, we’re being very deliberate."

While some in the neighborhood did not the risks, sinkholes are common in Florida; home insurers are required by law to provide coverage for them.

Florida’s geological makeup increases the likelihood of sinkholes, and more than 500 have been reported in Hillsborough County since 1954.

A monster 400-foot sinkhole sucked in a house, five sports cars, two businesses, and part of a swimming pool, appearing near Orlando back in 1981.

"Envision a piece of Swiss cheese," Taylor Yarkosky, a sinkhole expert from Brooksville, Fla., told the AP. "Any house in Florida could be in that situation."